Dimensioning – Concept, theater, technical drawing and cartography

We explain what a dimension is and where they are. In addition, its specific meaning in theater, technical drawing and maps.

Annotations are usually made to a working document or draft.

What is a dimension?

In general, annotations are known as those notes, signs, signals or annotations that are made outside of something, that is to say, on the edges or the outskirts of a plane, a written work or some type of document. Its name comes from the Latin ad– (“towards”) and captus (“Careful”), so it can also be understood as a warning or clarification.

Annotations are usually made to a working document, a draft or a previous version, since the content of the marginal annotations usually consists of modifications, amendments or comments that must be taken into account. Even the grades of a teacher and their written interventions in a work or exam can be considered annotations.

However, this term also has different technical or specialized uses, which depend on the specific discipline to which we refer, as we will see below.

Theatrical annotations

theatrical dimension
Annotations are distinguished from the rest of the dramatic text by being in italics.

In the world of dramaturgy or theatrical writing, annotations or didascalias they are certain types of author interventions in the script of the play, which are distinguished from the rest of the dramatic text by being italicized, in square brackets, or highlighted in some other way.

Its function is to indicate the movements and actions that occur on stage and they are not part of the characters’ dialogue. In other cases, they explain the specific way in which a character carries out an action or says some part of his speech.

The theatrical dimensions thus replace the role of the narrator, absent in the dramatic genre, and are almost always written in the third person, briefly and succinctly, so as not to hinder the reading of the dialogues that make up the piece.

Dimensioning in Technical Drawing

technical drawing dimensioning
The dimensions in technical drawing provide information about dimensions and distances.

When we talk about dimensioning in the context of design, specifically graphic design and technical drawing, we mean the representation of the dimensions and visual proportions of an object determined, through a series of symbols, figures and lines that make up the language of the discipline. Its name comes from the fact that these signs and figures are known as “dimensions”, that is, measurements.

Thus, limiting in technical drawing consists of finding and making explicit the measurements of an object or space, which can be done with two different criteria:

  • Dimension dimensions, which provide the reader with information about the proportions of an object: how long are its sides, how many degrees are some of its angles, and so on. An example of this are the graphic descriptions of industrial machinery parts for their manufacture.
  • Location dimensions, which provide the reader with information regarding the location of an object within a space: how far it is from other objects or walls, at what angle of inclination it is arranged, and so on. An example of this is the sketch made by a traffic prosecutor to record how a road accident occurred.

Dimensions on a map

dimensioning maps cartography
Map dimensions are scale-independent additional data.

For its part, in cartography, the dimensioning provides very specific information to users of a map, such as the features of the topography of the represented region and other additional data, that are not part of the land surface layout and that they are independent of the scale of the map. These types of dimensions are usually highly standardized according to international standards such as ISO standards.